US: Japanese automakers keep up the pace in January image

The start of the year couldn’t have been better for the automakers operating on the US market, the second largest in the world, with volume growing by 14 percent overall and the Japanese brands coming with stellar results yet again.

Together with the Detroit three, the main Japanese brands rode the tailwind of cheap and readily available credit, falling gas prices, surging economy and high demand for SUVs and trucks. Nissan, Toyota and Honda all posted gains of more than 12% and among the smaller brands Subaru again showed it was ready for new records and milestones in the US. Honda Motor and Nissan, the third and second largest Japanese automakers, both reported their best January sales ever in America, with Toyota and Nissan above analyst estimates and Honda just slightly below.

The world’s largest automaker – Toyota – continues to rely on the US market for continued growth, posting a 16 percent jump last year to a total of 169,194 vehicles, also counting record sales of its premium Lexus brand. Nissan Motor Corp. reported US deliveries last month of 104,107 units, gaining 15 percent over the year ago period, as sales jumped 16 percent for the core brand and soared 7.3 percent at Infiniti. Honda’s sales rose 12 percent, below estimates of a 13% increase, though the 102,184-unit figure represented a new record for the January month. Sales of passenger cars, such as the civic and Accord were negative, though thoroughly compensated by the light-truck deliveries that jumped 25 percent. Subaru continued its winning streak as January registrations jumped 24 percent to 40,812 autos – the 11th consecutive month above the 40,000 mark.

Via Bloomberg, Reuters, Automotive News